Xtraordinary Woman of the Month - Maritza Breitenbach
CEO of Paddycat Publising and Author of "The Cookie Book"
Martiza is the mother of 3 children and lives in Somerset West, Cape Town. Many-many years ago Martiza did a B.Sc degree and teacher’s diploma, and a few years back a Masters degree in Biomedical Ethics at the University of Stellenbosch. She is the author of "The Cookie Book", owner of a small business in Stellenbosch, and is currently busy with a research proposal for a Doctorate in Philosophy at the University of Stellenbosch.
Please tell us a little more about yourself and your journey so far.
I was born in a small town, Heidelberg (Transvaal), nearly 50 years ago – oh my, time does fly when you are having fun! At age 4 we moved to Potchefstroom - I was a bit of a tomboy, played many sports and excelled at swimming, and was vice-head girl at Potchefstroom Gymnasium, and got provincial colours an a few sports (swimming, gymnastics and lifesaving). I went on to do a B.Sc degree and a teacher’s diploma, and landed my first job at a gym. I gave fitness classes and later ran the gym – this is also where I met my husband (now divorced). We had 3 lovely children, now all grown up (19, 23 & 25). During our marriage I was a stay-at-home mom, but after the divorce I went back to University and did a diploma in Small Business Management. Soon after that I started to coach swimming and the swimming club soon grew to be the biggest in the North West province. We, my children and I, moved to Somerset West in 2001 to get a fresh start – and what a blessing it has been!
I initially did sculpting, and was lucky enough to have my work displayed in a few art shops (Everaard Reed in Cape Town, in Stellenbosch, Franschoek, and Clarens). This venture was not financially viable so I stopped, but it is a wonderful hobby that I will, one day deep into the future, take up again. I then decided to explore my interest in philosophy on a more structured basis, and enrolled at the University of Stellenbosch for a Masters degree in Applied Medical Ethics. Soon after that the idea of a ‘cookie book’ was born, and it literally grabbed my full attention for the next few years to follow – and it still has me by the short and curlies! Since the topic of a women’s ‘sweetest spot’ is considered such a social taboo I was unable to find support and decided to self-publish the Cookie Book: Unveiling the Women’s Secret. It has been a most exciting journey – apart from the personal empowerment that I gained through the information that was discovered, our South African ‘Cookie’ has also found her way almost around the world. The Afrikaans book has just been launched, and the second edition – The Cookie Book: Celebrating the Art, Power and Mystery of Women’s Sweetest Spot is available worldwide. The vagina – so small, yet so powerful!
I now enjoy doing talks about the subject, and women’s sexuality (guilt and shame) is also the focus of my proposed doctorate. And, I almost forgot, somewhere in between, an opportunity presented itself, and I started a hair salon (Knots Hair Salon & Barber Shop) in the Neelsie (the student centre) at Stellenbosch. Our salon is nearly two years old, and I am blessed with the most wonderful staff … (the salon was voted as the most popular hair salon in the Western Cape by the YOU and HUISGENOOT readers in 2012).